PLATTSBURGH — It could have been worse for the Plattsburgh State men’s basketball in the first half Friday night against Geneseo.
“If you watched the first half, you would think we were behind by 20,” Cardinals’ coach Tom Curle said. “There was no flow to the game and they were killing us inside, especially (Gordon) Lyons.
“But I look up at the scoreboard and we were up two (39-37) — and that was a good sign for us.”
The Cardinals got their act together in the second half and gradually pulled away to a hard-fought 97-85 SUNY Athletic Conference victory at Memorial Hall.
Plattsburgh (8-2, 2-1) shot the ball extremely well, going 35-of-65 from the field, including 12-of-24 from 3-point range. Shamoy McIntosh did the biggest damage with a game-high 33 points, including six 3-pointers.
“Shamoy hit a lot of big shots for us (Friday),” Curle said.
John Perez added 17 points, including 15 in the second half, and a team-high 11 rebounds for Plattsburgh, while Mike Mitchell chipped in with 12 points, Edward Correa 11 and Shavar Fields, 10.
Chris Manning dished out nine assists and added five steals. Fields contributed seven rebounds.
“John had to adjust his play on both ends of the court in the second half,” Curle said. “He was short-arming the ball on his shots. But he handles coaching well.
“Shavar gave us good minutes once again and Mike hit some key free throws for us near the end.”
The Cardinals, on defense, had their hands full with the 6-5 Lyons. Most of Lyons’ baskets came on layups and he torched Plattsburgh for 18 points in the first half on the way to a 29-point performance.
The Cardinals, however, did a better job on him over the final 20 minutes at limited his touches from the 10-minute mark on.
Lyons also added 11 rebounds.
“Geneseo is tough and they were kicking our butts,” Curle said. “We had to make some adjustments at the half. We went to a zone. That allowed them to hit some threes, but we did better defensively inside.
“Lyons is very physical and when he hits you first, he’s going to score. John (Perez) did a better job hitting him first in the second half.”
Connor Fedge added 18 points off the bench for Geneseo (6-2, 0-1), while former Beekmantown Central School standout Devon Anderson gave the Knights a lift off the bench in the second half with 10 points.
“That’s a testament to the hard work that Anderson has put in,” Curle said. “He was very effective for them.”
Geneseo shot 35-of-73 from the field, but was only 6-of-23 from 3-point range.
Plattsburgh held a 50-48 second-half lead when McIntosh scored 10 points in a row to make it 60-48. Geneseo, however, would rally back and Jonathan Cohen’s 3-point pulled the Knights to within two points, at 69-67.
Correa then nailed a couple of threes and the Cardinals were able to regain the momentum with another 10-point advantage, at 82-72. The closest the Knights could get the rest of the way was seven points.
Mitchell scored Plattsburgh’s final five points from the line as the Cardinals were able to widen their lead at the end.
“It was a good win for us,” Curle said.
The Cardinals return to the court today for a 4 p.m. game against The College of Brockport at Memorial Hall. The Golden Eagles (7-1, 1-0) were a 75-57 winner Friday at Potsdam.
Plattsburgh 97, Geneseo 85
Decker 1-3-6, McKenna 1-0-3, Jones 0-0-0, Lyons 13-3-29, Curry 3-0-6, Eisenberg 1-0-3, Drescher 2-0-5, Keenan 1-0-2, Zabransky 0-0-0, Cohen 1-0-3, Fedge 7-3-18, Anderson 5-0-10. Totals: 35-9-85.
Correa 3-2-11, Manning 2-1-6, McIntosh 12-3-33, Perez 7-3-17, Fields 5-0-10, M. Mitchell 3-5-12, Thomas 0-0-0, Siergiej 0-0-0, Dweck 0-0-0, O. Mitchell 0-0-0, Hodgson 3-1-8. Totals: 35-15-97.
Halftime: Plattsburgh, 39-37.
3-point goal: Geneseo (6): Decker; McKenna; Eisenberg; Drescher; Cohen; Fedge. Plattsburgh (12): McIntosh 6; Correa; Manning; Mitchell; Hodgson.